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Cork Dork

A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste
Narrated by: Bianca Bosker
Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (938 ratings)
Regular price: $31.50
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Publisher's Summary

Instant New York Times best-seller and a New York Times critics' pick.

“Thrilling...[told] with gonzo élan.... When the sommelier and blogger Madeline Puckette writes that this book is the Kitchen Confidential of the wine world, she’s not wrong, though Bill Buford’s Heat is probably a shade closer.” (Jennifer Senior, The New York Times)

Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine - until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork”. 

With boundless curiosity, humor, and a healthy dose of skepticism, Bosker takes the listener inside underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: What’s the big deal about wine? 

What she learns will change the way you drink wine - and, perhaps, the way you live - forever.

“Think: Eat, Pray, Love meets Somm.” (TheSkimm)

“As informative as it is, well, intoxicating.” (Fortune)

©2017 Bianca Bosker (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"The Kitchen Confidential of wine." (Madeline Puckette, Wine Folly)
"Bianca Bosker is an enthusiast. Her passion for wine expertise makes this fun and fact-filled audiobook an extraordinary listening experience. She narrates her text with joy, and her pursuit of the special knowledge and wisdom possessed by sommeliers comes through in every syllable of her journey from oenology novice to working cork dork.... She narrates her audiobook with verve and self-deprecating humor." ( AudioFile)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not educational

If you are looking to learn about wine, this is not the book for you. If you want to hear the story of a 20 something journalist trying to insert herself into the world of high wine, this book is great!

I found it to be entertaining but I really did not learn very much about wine aside from the general consensus that the best and most expensive stuff comes from Burgundy and that if you don’t want to spend more than a couple dozen dollars per bottle, maybe finely tuning your wine tasting apparatus is not such a good idea.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Interesting premise, but not so much the reader

My husband and I owned a wine import and distribution company for 28 years, selling to the all aspects of the trade this author talks about in the book. The world of wine is well represented with great detail and accuracy, but we found her style of writing a bit too self-indulgent...quite full of herself.

The author would have required more assistance and leg-work than she presented, to gain access thru the many doors of the wine world she managed to open.

Her reading was too "cutesy," with exaggerated emphasis, often where none was needed.
The reading almost made us quite listening it was so annoying.

An informative read, but suggest reading rather than listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Vivid

A vivid lively highly engrossing account of the wine. A lovely story that will make you love wine if you don't already or take you further on your wine journey. Beautifully written !

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inspiring but a bit slow/annoying at times

Like all the wine facts and overall content but some of the storytelling was a bit pretentious and over manufactured.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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4 STARS FROM A PROFESSIONAL SOMMELIER!!!!!!

If you could sum up Cork Dork in three words, what would they be?

Informative, Entertaining, Eye-opening

What other book might you compare Cork Dork to and why?

I've read dozens of books about wine, and I've never read one like this. It's great for anyone how knows anyone who is a wine geek.

Which scene was your favorite?

The last 100 pages I thought was incredible. I love where her mind set ended up after her year long journey into a world that I love so much!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Prepare to get dizzy"

Any additional comments?

If you are a wine geek, or have a wine geek who you love, read this book. If you want to know why he/she loves this grape juice as much as we do, read tis book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolute must read for wine drinkers

I live in wine country, have made wine for years and know dozens of people in the industry and I still learned more about it's craziness than from any other source. The author (and reader) is wonderfully self deprecating, full of bust out loud humor and incredibly knowledgeable. I have not only recommended it as a read -although with the author's voice it really come alive- but have purchased it for many others. A home run and if she decides to do this with another industry I hope I get word.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Why are so many syllables clipped off?

This is an interesting book, read intelligently by the author, but nearly ruined in production. Good Lord! For some reason, not only initial phonemes are frequently missing, but fairly frequently, entire syllables at the beginning of a phrase. It rarely impedes understanding the text, but it does on occasion. Otherwise, it's just like reading a good book with many typos. If you don't notice, good. If you do, you'll be pulling your hair out.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A Fun Listen, and Lots of Information About Wine

I enjoyed Bianca Bosker's story and narration of her year-long journey with wine and sommeliers. She somewhat demystifies the process of choosing a wine and communicating with a server. Overall its a fun listen, though it runs a bit long I think. There's a lot of detail I could have done without, and I certainly would have preferred fewer f-bombs. Seriously, after enduring about a dozen during two of the latter chapters I was considering deleting the book from my ipod. It's not as if the word has never left my lips, but it was a bit much considering the topic. Some people in this book take their wine way, way too seriously.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Enriching, Offensive and Itritating

I feel enriched at the information I learned by listening to this book, but offended by the language and irritated that a journalist would not give credit to how and why she achieved the gracious treatment she received from so many people. Perhaps in the written edition there is an acknowledgment section, but that was lacking the audio edition.
This book provides some great insight into the world of wine tasting and selling.
I found a parts of it very interesting and challenging. OK - I’m smelling my spice cabinet after work.
I found one aspect of the book very distasteful- the cursing. If this is written for then wine enthusiast described in this book, or even someone who aspires to be able to enjoy wine like those 5th Avenue Nee Yorkers, the cursing peppered throughout this audiobook is offensive. This may be the way they talk when not in front of the customers/clients, but -as one does not talk that way in front of the guests, one probably should not talk that way in a book.
The other disclaimer I expected at some point in Ms. Bosker’s journey was the admission that the only way she made this journey in a much shorter time than the average bloke was her journalistic credentials. The blind tasting that had a year long waiting list that she just happened to get into in a week, the people she called around the world who agreed to meet with her. The average Sommelier-to-be could never pull that off. Her scientific approach helped as well, but that alone could not have accomplished what she did in so little time.

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Pretty good!

Enjoyed the book, but take what she says with a grain of salt. This is just one experience diving into the would of wine and wine sales from a journalistic point of view. I thought the book was well put together and held my interest throughout.